From The Archives: Battlefield 3 Map Pitch: Blood Sports

From The Archives posts are posts which I’ve carried over from my old blog (usually just the opinion pieces and other critical stuff, not the news and miscellaneous posts). They come from the entire length of my time in games writing, so you’ll probably notice a big jump in quality between the really old stuff and the more recent posts.

Originally posted on my old blog on October 14th 2012

So the winners of the Battlefield 3 map pitching contest have been announced, and unfortunately I wasn’t among them. And like any loser of a contest I’m a bit sore because I think my entry was a bit better than some of them (not to mention the fact the judging wasn’t actually handled how the terms and conditions outlined it would be!), but what’s done is done, I’m not gonna cry about it. Publicly. But I figured I’d post my pitch here for all to see so that all the effort I put into my pitch wasn’t for nothing. I think you’ll agree it would actually make a pretty cool map 🙂 If you like you can just grab the pdf file here.

Continue reading From The Archives: Battlefield 3 Map Pitch: Blood Sports

From The Archives: Options Aren’t Always a Good Thing

From The Archives posts are posts which I’ve carried over from my old blog (usually just the opinion pieces and other critical stuff, not the news and miscellaneous posts). They come from the entire length of my time in games writing, so you’ll probably notice a big jump in quality between the really old stuff and the more recent posts.

Originally posted on my old blog on September 20th 2012

There’s a reasoning I often see thrown around to justify an addition or possible addition to a game, and that’s “It’s optional, you don’t have to use it!” It sounds like it makes sense, right? Adding as many features and options into a game (like difficulty settings) in order to make it accessible to everybody. So why then, do I disagree with the logic? My line of thinking here was prompted by two recent happenings: co-op mode being announced for Dead Space 3, and an easy mode being patched in to Dragon’s Dogma (though there’s a few things I can say about this topic in relation to this game).

Continue reading From The Archives: Options Aren’t Always a Good Thing

From The Archives: First Impressions Are Everything, Make Your Announcements Count

From The Archives posts are posts which I’ve carried over from my old blog (usually just the opinion pieces and other critical stuff, not the news and miscellaneous posts). They come from the entire length of my time in games writing, so you’ll probably notice a big jump in quality between the really old stuff and the more recent posts.

Originally posted on my old blog on August 27th 2012

The internet erupted in a fiery explosion of hate this morning, all of it directed at game developers Square Enix. What did they do to deserve this hatred? They announced an iOS port of a much loved game. ‘Wait, what?’ you think, ‘that’s it?’ Well, there’s certainly a lot more to it than that.

Continue reading From The Archives: First Impressions Are Everything, Make Your Announcements Count

From The Archives: The Effects Leaks Have On Fans’ Reactions to Games

From The Archives posts are posts which I’ve carried over from my old blog (usually just the opinion pieces and other critical stuff, not the news and miscellaneous posts). They come from the entire length of my time in games writing, so you’ll probably notice a big jump in quality between the really old stuff and the more recent posts.

Originally posted on my old blog on July 31st 2012

It seems that a lot of developers lately, especially those working on fighting games, have problems with their metaphorical plumbing. Leaks are becoming more and more frequent during the pre-release periods of hyped games, hell, while I was typing this piece this link appeared on my Twitter feed. There are three kinds of leaks- inside sources getting info out, companies goofing up and accidentally releasing information somehow, and fake leaks that are made purely to get attention. With potential customers desperate for information on upcoming games, it’s only natural that people would try to leak out information (or pretend to), either to be a ‘nice’ person or to just get some attention. There’s plenty to talk about on the subject, like whether leaks are ethically right or looking into why people would leak information, but what I want to talk about today is the effect leaks have on hype towards a game. I’m going to reminisce on three relatively recent leaks for games I’ve been following, and have a look at what I noticed on message boards during the pre-release period, and my own personal feelings.

Continue reading From The Archives: The Effects Leaks Have On Fans’ Reactions to Games

From The Archives: Are Video Games a Suitable Medium for War Stories?

From The Archives posts are posts which I’ve carried over from my old blog (usually just the opinion pieces and other critical stuff, not the news and miscellaneous posts). They come from the entire length of my time in games writing, so you’ll probably notice a big jump in quality between the really old stuff and the more recent posts.

Originally posted on my old blog on June 16th 2012

Note: This article contains spoilers for Red Dead Redemption and Gallipoli. But if you haven’t finished RDR or seen Gallipoli- REALLY!? Also, it’s talking mostly in regards to FPSes, as they are the most common genre for war games. I don’t play many FPSes, so if there’s anything factually wrong, feel free to tell me, I’d love to discuss this more.

I was watching the Gamespot Australia live stream on Tuesday, and there was a discussion there that really interested me, to the point where I’m actually writing something about it! This discussion was about war and video games, and whether video games really do war ‘justice’. I, myself, don’t play many shooters because I see them as pointless. It’s just mindless killing, with no real goal, no sense of co-ordination of teamwork, nothing. Just killing and more killing for a whole round. And that’s basically what war games are now that they’re focused on the multiplayer aspects rather than creating a singleplayer experience. The games (for the most part) present kills as a good thing you should be striving towards, for which you are rewarded with points, killstreaks or what have you. There’s a clear divide between good and evil. The other team, or the antagonists in the storyline are the enemy. In the case of multiplayer opponents, they have no reason they’re fighting other than it’s fun and they want to win. In the case of singleplayer antagonists, they’re hardly ever well thought out characters, they’re just plain evil, and you need to stop them. And the enemies you kill along the way are just characterless polygons who you have to kill to progress. Everyone in war is a living, breathing human being, enemy or ally.

Continue reading From The Archives: Are Video Games a Suitable Medium for War Stories?

From The Archives: The gaming industry needs to keep kids in mind

From The Archives posts are posts which I’ve carried over from my old blog (usually just the opinion pieces and other critical stuff, not the news and miscellaneous posts). They come from the entire length of my time in games writing, so you’ll probably notice a big jump in quality between the really old stuff and the more recent posts.

Originally posted on my old blog on May 8th 2012

Continue reading From The Archives: The gaming industry needs to keep kids in mind

NEW BLOG OMG BUY NOW FOR SPECIAL PANTS

WOAH IT’S PRETTY AND SHINY

Yeah, I got sick of Blogger, so I’m going to make this site my base of operations from now on. I’ll gradually move all my posts from the old blog over to this one, and all my future writing will be posted here. In case you somehow stumbled upon this page accidentally without knowing who I am- really? Like, really? I don’t know how, but ok! My name’s Josh, I normally go by the handle Mario_Bones, and I’m a games design student who also does games writing on the side for a number of sites as well as my blog. I used to post things over on my Blogger page, but now I’m posting them here instead.

You can expect a variety of writing here, from brief musings on games, to some more in-depth stuff. I might occasionally post a bit of news that I find interesting, but normally I keep news for my personal Twitter. Word of warning if you do follow me on Twitter- I tweet a LOT.

So yeah, welcome, enjoy your stay, etc etc.